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Whitestone Parish Council


PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES MAY 2013

DRAFT Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council held at Whitestone Parish Hall on Thursday 9th May at 7.30pm to be ratified on 13th June 2013

Attendance: Chairman - Councillor P Nierop

Councillors Mrs M Belt, Mrs P Fisher, S Heathcote, Mrs L Luxton, R Phillips, A Reed, A Skeet.
District Councillor P Bromell
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
Mrs B Netherway, Mrs S Greenfield

Apologies: Councillor M Quinn (illness)

The meeting was preceded by the May Draw for the 100 Club in support of the Parish Hall Development Fund. The number drawn was 88 and belongs to Jules Lugg.

Councillor Nierop opened the Annual General Meeting and stood down as Chairman in order for the election of officers for the year 2013/2014 to take place

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Election of Chairman

Councillor Philip Nierop proposed by Cllr Fisher, seconded by Cllr Skeet. There being no other nomination Cllr Nierop was duly elected, signed his declaration of office and called for nominations for the following:-

Election of Vice Chairman

Councillor Mrs Belt proposed by Cllr Reed, seconded by Cllr Phillips. All in favour.

Asset Group Committee

Proposed by Cllr Belt and seconded by Cllr Nierop that Councillors Heathcote, Reed, Mrs Luxton be elected en bloc. All in favour.

Footpath Warden

Councillor Munro proposed by Cllr Belt, seconded by Cllr Luxton. All in favour.

Church House Foundation Member

Councillor Mrs Belt proposed by Cllr Fisher, seconded by Cllr Reed. All in favour.

Crossway Park Officer

Councillor Mrs Fisher proposed by Cllr Belt, seconded by Cllr Luxton. All in favour.

Parish Hall Committee

Proposed by Cllr Fisher and seconded by Cllr Reed that Councillors Belt, Phillips, Nierop and Luxton be elected

en bloc. All in favour.

Parish Hall Liaison Member

Councillor Belt proposed by Cllr Heathcote and seconded by Cllr Reed. All in favour.

Responsible Financial Officer

Mrs P Vaughan proposed by Cllr Fisher, seconded by Cllr Reed. All in favour.

Independent Internal Auditor

Mr Ken Abrahams proposed by Cllr Phillips, seconded by Cllr Belt. All in favour.

The Council then proceeded to the business of the Parish Council Meeting

Minutes of the Council meetings held on the 11th April 2013 and the Annual Parish Meeting held on 25th April 2013 having been circulated were taken as read and signed as a true copy by the Chairman.

PLANNING

Grant of Conditional Planning Permission

13/00716/FUL Two storey rear and side extension at 4 Exe View Cottages

13/00580/FUL Two storey side extension at Little Springs, Nadderwater

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

Mobile Library Service

The Clerk reported that following contact with Devon County arrangements had been made for alternative arrangements for the four residents using this service and then Mr and Mrs Durrant very kindly came forward and said that they were willing for the Mobile Library Service to park outside their property as the road is amply wide enough there for this to be safely achieved. The Outreach and Rural Services Manager was very grateful for this offer and the Mobile Library will be returning on the next scheduled visit on 20th May.

Stores

Following the reported leak in the roof of the store which serves as a prop shed for the Whitestone Players investigations had been carried out and it was resolved that the roof be repaired with a boarded felt roof which would cost approximately £400 for the materials and Gareth Clatworthy had volunteered to organise the labour force with the Parish Council playing for the materials. Cllr Phillips will liaise with Mr Clatworthy regarding this.

Cllr Nierop has made enquiries from the groups using the storage facilities and the Groups concerned have organised their own insurance to cover damage to the contents with the exception of the Sports and Social Club.

Cllr Nierop raised the need to charge a rental in order to substantiate continued ownership of the stores by the Parish Council. After considerable discussion it was resolved with one abstention that the Groups concerned should be charged a peppercorn rent of £5 per annum for the current financial year subject to review through the annual budgetary process.

School Houses

Cllr Phillips reported that estimates had been obtained and scaffolding had been erected to enable further investigations of the chimneys and reported on the work that was needed. It was agreed that the Asset Committee should meet as soon as possible in order to agree a specification and in order to obtain quotations for this and other works which included the bathroom needing updating at No 1 and the damp from the chimneys.

The Clerk reported that as requested she had requested a breakdown on the charge of £68 for the bathroom lock at No 1 and was informed that it was £40 for a labour charge and £28 for the lock. Devon Lettings have reported that accounts have been paid for £97.00 + VAT £19.40 = £116.40 for cleaning blocked drains and £45 + £9 VAT = £54 for electrical repairs at No 2. Also paid had been £120 (no VAT) for a site visit paid to give quotations for the work required at both houses. This would be queried with Devon Sales and Lettings.

Cllr Nierop has made enquiries regarding charges for obtaining Deeds for the properties which are missing and having had conversation with the Secretary of the Parish Hall Management Committee it was ascertained that the Parish Hall Deeds were also missing. It was resolved that the Parish Council should obtain replacement Deeds for all the properties.

Internal Auditor's fee proposal

Mr Abrahams, who is conducting the Council's Internal Audit has submitted an agreement for signature to cover the next five years at a fixed rate and it was resolved that this be agreed and the document was duly signed by the Chairman.

MATTERS RAISED BY THE CHAIRMAN

Cllr Nierop gave thanks to all those who had turned up to help with the Litter Pick and the extra numbers had meant they were able to cover a larger area.

Following the Annual Parish Meeting he had reported the complaint made by users of the Crossway Park regarding dog fouling and this had resulted in Teignbridge District Council posting some new dog fouling notices in the area.

The play equipment in the Park has now been repaired and he suggested that the annual inspection can now take place. The Clerk then informed the meeting of information received from our Insurers saying that they were no longer recommending the services of Digley Associates to carry out playground inspections. She had therefore endeavoured to contact Digley Associates regarding our inspection which was overdue to no avail and sought the approval of the Council to contact Play Inspection Company who the insurance company have given as an alternative company. It was resolved that this action should be taken and the order with Digley Associates should be cancelled.

Some work has been done on the Village Pump site at Nadderwater. The pump now needs to be painted and a small area of walling restored. Cllr Belt offered to approach someone she thought might be willing to undertake the work.

FINANCE

The accounts/balance sheet for the year ended 31st March 2013 having been circulated these were proposed and seconded for approval by the Council. All in favour.

The Annual Audit was presented to the meeting for authorisation and it was resolved that this was approved for presentation to the Audit Commission and the Return was duly signed by the Chairman. The Clerk reported that Mr Abrahams will be visiting her on 24th May to conduct the Internal Audit following which the Return will be sent to the Audit Commission.

The Clerk requested that following the resignation of Mrs Netherway in October 2012 further signatories should be added to our Nat West Bank authorisation of cheques and Councillors Luxton and Phillips indicated their willingness for this action to be taken.

Authorisation for continuation of Grants

It was proposed and seconded that the following Grants be continued. All in favour.

Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee - £125 per month

Parochial Church Council (for the Church Magazine for inclusion of Council Minutes) - £165

Whitestone Gardening Club for tending the Community Garden adjoining Crossway Park - £125.

Income

Precept Payment (Half year) - £3,000

Expenditure

The following accounts were proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour.

Clerk's expenses - £26.32 (no VAT)

Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee - £125.00

Hire of Parish Hall meeting room for Parish Plan Meetings - £18.75 (no VAT)

Homeworks - £882.00 (no VAT)

Frost Fencing - £80.00 (no VAT)

R S Phillips - £352.32 (no VAT)

Cllr Philips declared an interest in the final account where he had obtained wood preservers and brushes for work in the play area £145.11 and the supply of a kitchen hob for 2 School Houses and vents for windows £207.21

CORRESPONDENCE

A letter of resignation has been received from Councillor Skeet as he feels unable to give a full commitment to the Whitestone Parish as a Councillor. The Chairman noted this with regret and thanked Mr Skeet for his commitment to the Council since May 2011.

Notification has been received from Teignbridge District Council that the Plastics Bank in the Parish Hall car park has now been upgraded to receive "Mixed Plastics" and notices to this effect will be displayed on notice boards.

Community Council of Devon invited the Council to join the 'new look' Community Council of Devon at a cost of £50. After discussion it was decided to decline the invitation as the Council is already a member of the Devon Association of Local Councils and the Society of Local Council Clerks which do supply advice and information.

Information has been received regarding the offer from the Woodland Trust for community groups to apply for packs of free trees for delivery in November 2013 which would be passed to the Parish Magazine and the website.

REPORTS

Cllr Belt reported attending the Rural Aid AGM and her first meeting as representative on the Church House Education Foundation.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Cllr Bromell had no information regarding the see saw being provided from the electors fund but would make enquiries.

Mrs Greenfield gave the following report on the Parish Plan Steering Group on Tuesday 23rd April:-

"We chatted through the comments and feedback that we had from our coffee morning on Saturday 20th April. Firstly our apologies that the notice in the Parish Magazine did not quote the opening times, secondly we would like to thank everyone who popped in and contributed to a lively set of conversations! Lastly thanks also to those who sent their apologies for not being able to attend.

One clear message that we received was that a large percentage of parishioners are keen to maintain the status quo in general. If that is your view then when we send out our full questionnaire please let us know. It is important that we are as aware of a desire not to change as any proposals for change.

The group are now getting organised to construct the questions for the full questionnaire building on the views that we have already received. This work will keep us very occupied over the next few months!

I attended the Annual Parish Meeting on Thursday 25th April and presented the group report for the past year"

The Chairman thanked Mrs Greenfield for her report.

Mrs Greenfield then expressed interest in the item regarding the offer of packs of free trees from the Woodland Trust and the Clerk agreed to forward the information to her.

The meeting closed at 9.15pm.

Comments by email welcome

info@whitestone-devon.org.uk